ACT: 60% aren’t ready for college

Sixty percent of college-bound high school graduates aren’t prepared for college success, according to ACT’s Condition of College & Career Readiness 2012 report. Fifty-two percent of graduating seniors took the ACT exam, which claims to measure both college and career readiness: Only 25 percent met the benchmarks in all four subject areas, English, reading, math and science. Twenty-eight percent did not meet any benchmark; another 15 percent met only one and 17 percent met just two.

A student who meets the benchmark has a 75 percent chance of earning a C or higher in that subject area in a first-year college class and a 50 percent chance of earning a B. The benchmarks are based on the college grades earned by ACT-tested students.

Test takers are improving in mathematics and science, while English and reading scores have been flat for several years.

Forty-six percent of ACT-tested graduates are prepared in math, 31 percent in science, 67 percent in English and 52 percent in reading.

The sample test questions in writing, reading and math were very easy. The science question required reading and logic skills, but no actual knowledge of science.

What grade level is this math question?

Near a large city, planes take off from two airfields. One of the fields is capable of sending up a plane every 3 minutes. The other field is capable of sending up 2 planes every 7 minutes. At these rates, which of the following is the most reasonable estimate of the total number of planes the two airfields could send up in 90 minutes?

A. 18
B. 27
C. 36
D. 44
E. 55

A majority of ACT-taking 12th graders can’t solve questions like this? Some states are requiring all graduating seniors to take the ACT, regardless of their college plans, so there are more marginal students taking the exam. But still.

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